iTHRIV Launches New Series to Amplify Underrepresented Voices in Health Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded Integrated Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia (iTHRIV) is pleased to announce a new educational offering called the Voices in Clinical and Translational Science. This speaker series is designed to serve as a platform and lift underrepresented voices in research across the iTHRIV partnership. Sandra Burks, iTHRIV’s Administrative Program Director states, “experience teaches us that diversity of thought, diversity of background, and diversity of perspectives makes team science richer and stronger. This new series seeks to highlight excellence in clinical translational research and understand different lived experiences.”

The Voices in Clinical and Translational Science series will focus on promoting dialogue and encouraging team science. “We hope that researchers will be excited to hear from colleagues across iTHRIV who may have backgrounds different from their own, and also find new potential collaborators who share common goals in their research” adds Burks.

The quarterly seminar series is designed to amplify diverse perspectives in clinical and translational research, and in doing so, foster innovation and an inclusive environment. Burks notes that “the goal really is to learn from one another about the impact of different lived experiences on the work that people do. The presenters will share their science and also their lived experience as an underrepresented person in research.” The speaker series is aimed at translational health research professionals at all stages of their career.So far, two presenters have agreed to present in the Voices in Clinical and Translational Science series:

Dr. Sula Mazimba will speak on March 22nd, 2022. Dr. Mazimba received his medical degree from the University of Zambia School of Medicine and his Masters of Public Health degree from Wright State University, Boonshoft School of Medicine. He completed his medical residency at the Kettering Medical Center/Wright State University; cardiology fellowship at the Kettering Medical Center/Dayton Veteran Affairs Center; and Advanced Heart Failure, heart transplant and pulmonary vascular disease fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Prior to his heart failure fellowship, he had served as clinical faculty in Cardiology at University of Alabama at Birmingham. Register here: 

Dr. Nasrien Ibrahim will speak on May 17th, 2022. Dr. Ibrahim served as faculty at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School before coming to Inova Heart and Vascular Institute where she is the Associate Program Director of the cardiology fellowship program. Dr. Ibrahim has published in top-tier journals, is a new book author, and is an associate editor for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure. Her research interests include biomarkers, improving adherence to guideline-directed therapies in heart failure patients, understanding mechanisms of disparities in the care of underserved populations, and improving access to heart transplant in historically excluded and systemically oppressed patient populations. Dr. Ibrahim was recently invited by the White House Office of Public Engagement to participate in a Health Equity Leaders Roundtable Series focused on access to care. Register here:

iTHRIV hopes that attendees will use this series as an opportunity to listen more deeply to one another and to broaden their own research in the quest to improve the health of communities in Virginia and beyond. Burks notes that “iTHRIV is grateful to our presenters for their willingness to share their work and lived experience as an underrepresented clinical translational researcher.” She is hopeful that “through this sharing of experiences and listening to one another, we can promote greater dialogue and understanding across our research community as we work together to address the important health problems in Virginia.”

Funded in part by a Clinical and Translational Science Award, iTHRIV combines the expertise of biomedical researchers and data scientists to facilitate team science and accelerate innovation to improve health across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Partner sites include Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, Carilion Clinic, and Inova Health System.

iTHRIV is partially supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, through award number UL1TR003015/KL2TR003016. For information, visit

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